Rick Cotton, Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) has tested positive for the Coronavirus.
PANYNJ oversees bridges, tunnels, airports, bus terminals and train stations in the New York Metro Area.
STATEMENT FROM THE PORT AUTHORITY ON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RICK COTTON pic.twitter.com/Cq4OZ5Lk28
— Port Authority NY&NJ (@PANYNJ) March 9, 2020
“As part of our commitment to the passengers at our facilities, the agency will increase cleanings in response to the coronavirus,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton last week, as he announced enhanced facility-wide cleaning and sanitizing protocols being implemented in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). “Across our facilities we are utilizing EPA approved, anti-viral cleaning agents to maintain the highest levels of sanitation.”
The Port Authority will increase cleanings of restrooms and surfaces frequently touched by passengers at the region’s airports, at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, at the George Washington Bridge Bus Station, at the Oculus World Trade Center Transportation Hub, and in the PATH train system. All areas will be disinfected on a regular basis using EPA-approved and CDC-endorsed disinfectants. The Port Authority continues to consult with New York State Department of Health, New Jersey Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Meanwhile, PANYNJ staff members who had been in contact with the Executive Director are self-quarantined.
The Port Authority has also deployed health guidance PSAs in terminals and stations. The agency encourages all travelers to make themselves aware of the health and safety protocols established by the CDC. These include recommendations to:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Individuals who are experiencing symptoms and may have traveled to areas of concern or have been in contact with somebody who has traveled to these areas should call ahead to their healthcare provider before presenting for treatment.
Should you have questions or concerns about the coronavirus, please consult the CDC’s website at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html or the respective New York and New Jersey state health department websites at https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/ and https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/ncov.shtml.